I was surprised to see the self-proclaimed “Warrior Princess,” Mindy Budgor, appear on a popular morning show. And I was beyond disturbed to hear the hosts of the show shower her with praise. Her self-righteousness and blatant disrespect of Maasai traditions is an embarrassment to all women and a threat to Maasai culture and the women who are fighting their own battles there. People like her perpetuate suspicion of American intentions abroad and encourage similar disrespectful and damaging behavior. People in the public eye – such as the hosts of the show – have an opportunity to expose people like her; instead they praised her as an “inspiration.”
I wandered to her website – perhaps in search of some shred of decency, a public apology for her ignorance and exploitation, or some indication that this was all a sick joke – only to find this self-important and ironic (she claims to be fighting governmental policies that threaten Maasai culture…yet she is responsible for disrupting it herself) description of her book and letters she wrote to her brother – in which she mentions her Chanel bags and Discover card – and a rep at Under Armour (apparently in an attempt to get sponsorship from the athletic wear company?!).
I was thankful to find that The Guardian article, “Mindy’s Masai Mara adventure is an insult to us all,” gave a much more thoughtful assessment of Mindy than the morning show did. I have written to the show and will be writing to Mindy. Feel free to share your own thoughts with her: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Goucher's Master of Arts in Cultural Sustainability is a completely unique new program. We teach our students how to work closely with individuals and communities to identify, protect, and enhance their important traditions, their ways of life, their cherished spaces, and their vital relationships to each other and the world.